To bang or not bang your head against a wall..

Sunday  7-31-2011  6:30 PM

I had an idea when I was brushing my teeth last night.  Or I might have been shaving.  It did happen in the bathroom, I think.  Not during anything too personal, so we’re safe.

The idea is to do little blog entries more often.  I think I’ve been trying too hard with these entries.  I’ll make a goal to write one page worth of stuff but that just makes it to where I write filler.  And I don’t want to do that.  It isn’t necessary.  So maybe I could do these things in quick bursts.  It seems reasonable.

I’m bad at writing stories.  I’ve noticed that inspiration normally lasts about a week before my attention gets antsy.  And I’m a slow writer.  A slow and deliberate writer.  That’s how the ball in my ball point pen rolls, if you will (though I haven’t written with one of those in some time).

I have this story I’m trying to write and I don’t like it anymore.  I had an idea that is a very simple premise.  I wanted to challenge myself.  You know, start with a story that doesn’t sound interesting and then figure out a way to make it the most compelling thing you’d ever read.  It’s not easy.  I wish it was.  I wish I was a quicker, more swashbuckling writer.  I realized yesterday again that I write at a snail’s pace.  But then I thought about how that’s still much better than not writing at all.  I mean, if a snail raced a person who didn’t move the snail would win.  So I guess I should be more optimistic.  Interesting too that writing requires you to be still… Hmm…

See, I want to make this story where a character does all of these small, mundane modern things only it’s written in a way to where everything seems new again.  Like, there would be a fresh and insightful spin on all of these normal things like watching TV or driving around or eating fast food or getting gas.

Maybe I should change the way I’m writing this.  I want to do it in screenplay form, mostly for the practice.  But the story is really about the internal commentary of this guy as he’s going through his very normal evening.  And if it was a movie then there’s no way to really convey the internal stuff as much.  I may need to switch this into a novel-style.  That’s where you can pull off that kind of thing.

I want writing to be an easy, effortless thing but it requires so much thinking and rethinking and changing and evolving.  I’ve felt the frustrating parts of the creative process more than the satisfying parts lately.  I’ve heard it said that a lot of writing is banging your head against a wall.  I think that’s supposed to be a figure of speech.  I’ve been wanting to do that but I may need to move into a room with padded walls, just to be on the safe side.

This is what I’m wondering though: at what point should you stop banging your head against a wall?  I mean, what if it’s just a few more minutes of wrestling with something to get to your big breakthrough?  Or what if it takes months or years?  Or what if you never figure things out and you spend your whole life banging your head against a wall in vain.

This is not a fun thing to think about.

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